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Fall Term Begins

January 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Oh, wait, I mean Winter Term...

People often ask me, "Jon, can I ask you a question?"  And then I say, "Yes," or "Sure thing" or something like that. And then they say, "So, winter in Minnesota must be pretty bad."  And then I say, "Was that a question?"  And they say, "No, I guess it wasn't."  And then I say, "Well, actually, it's not that bad!  It's clear, sunny, and 50 degrees out*."  And then they say, "Wow!  All my reservations about going to Carleton have melted like the snow beneath the golden, shining Northfield sun!"  Then I say, "Just doin' my job," or, "Cool beans!" or something like that.  Then they say, "Am I a real person?  Have you ever had this conversation with me in real life?  Have you ever had this conversation with anyone in real life?  Who am I?  What is Love?  What does it mean to Exist?"  Then I turn to them, look them in the eyes and say, "I don't know... I just don't know."  Then we take a walk in the Arb.  The sun sets, and the moon is obscured by clouds.  The darkness and odors of leaves envelop us, and in the shadows, in our terror, we feel truly alive. 

*Winter conditions subject to change.  Your Carleton Winter Term Experience © may vary from the example described in this blog post.

The Moon
Here's a pic of the moon over the Chapel and Scoville Hall.  As you can see, not a smidge of snow.  There are some random patches that you come across.  In the arb.  Behind Nourse.  You can stand on them and pretend to be floating on an ice patch in Antarctica.

It's been pretty strange to come back to no snow on the ground (especially since I was here over break for the window of time when there actually was snow in Northfield).  To put this in perspective, two years ago, I got frostbite on a run when I came back for Winter term...  But it's been really nice to be able to walk around in comfort for a time.  Everyone has been talking about how the weather must be winding up to smash us extra heavy, so we shall see.  We shall see.

Over the break, I was able to work here at Carleton for a few weeks, then go home for Christmas and New Years.  My roomie, Bacon was here working and in the off-hours, we ate chili and watched obscene amounts of Chuck.  I also crocheted myself a headband, and read a bunch of youth novels.  At home I played tons and tons of games with my little brother and drew comics.  For New Years, I cut 2 pounds of gobo (burdock root) into matchstick size pieces and stir-fried them.  Also, I made mochi with siblings and cousins at my grandpa's house!  That is pretty much the extent of my Japanese tradition observance for the year. 

Monoprice Tablet
I received a drawing tablet for Christmas, which I have been using to do illustration work and coloring!  Here is a project I am doing for a professor: 

Rubaiyat 18
This image seems to have scaled kind of poorly, but you get the picture.  This is an illustration of the 18th stanza of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Edward Fitzgerald).  I illustrated 19 stanzas and colored them with my new tablet!  I'm also getting a new scanner, so I'm excited for all the possibilities for my illustration work and comics!  If you're interested in a scanner for comics, check out the Mustek Scan Express A3.  It's not perfect, but it's the only 11x17 scanner anywhere near its price range (most are over ten times as expensive)). 

Anyways, this term is shaping up to be much busier than last term, and hopefully exciting and interesting.  I'm in some really cool classes like Life Drawing (widely hailed as one of the best Studio Art classes at Carleton, and I can see why), Art History since 1945, and Costume Design.  I'll keep you posted on how those pan out.

My room, Watson 116, aka the Fishbowl (due to its surrounded-by-windows nature) continues to be great.  Although the light bulbs in our lamp keep going out, and so it's getting a little dark...

So, some of you must be in the midst (or towards the end?) of your college application process?  I don't really remember when these things are...  Early decisioners have already heard or will hear soon, right?  Best of luck to all of you, and if you've already been accepted here, congratulations!  See you next year!



P.S.  Happy 50th postday to this blog!  Man, if I had an egg for every time I posted, I would have 50 eggs.


  • January 13 2012 at 2:46 am
    Louis London

    OMG, this is the strangest picture I have seen , I can not understand the idea, why the roots of the flowers are sculls?

  • January 13 2012 at 9:52 pm
    Kathryn Olney

    Or skulls.

  • January 13 2012 at 9:52 pm

    That looks like Winter Term 1987 (my junior year).  It was 73 degrees just before finals, and the drought continued into Spring Term (4/87 is still the driest April on record) with the temperature hitting 99 by the end of the school year.  I shocked everyone at home who thought I must be freezing to death in the Minnesota winter when I told them that I was getting a nice tan.

    Also I love mochi -- in zenzai or with kinako, sugar and cinnamon.

  • January 17 2012 at 12:32 pm
    Jon Kittaka

    Hi guys, thanks for the comments!  The roots are skulls, because the image is my interpretation of this quatrain from the Rubaiyat:

    I sometimes think that never so red
    The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
    That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
    Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

    @Everett: Wow that's crazy!  But things are already turning around here and it's getting pretty cold.  Hmm, I've never mixed kinako with cinnamon.  I'll have to try that some time!

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